good, good. now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s talk about a.p.e.:
:: i had the good fortune to share my table with the gregarious and talented randall christopher, teller of the truly delightful all-ages tales of kleeman and mike, a pair of likable misadventuring san diego surfers who spend their days with a talking cat named october and a skateboarding, philosophizing brick. their antics are at turns funny, zany, sad, and sweet, though one is never quite sure, at the outset of a strip or animated short, which adjective to expect. (the effect is not unlike that of eating sour patch kids in a darkened theater.) their latest adventure, the fellowship of the parakeet part 2, is the most fast-paced and jubilant to date; it finds them trying to save the world’s last surviving caroliner parakeet from a horde of pirate chickens with the help of rod serling, some maritime monkeys, a 14×11 pull-out poster, and two guest colorists (2 pages from a seasoned professional at d.c., and three more from a self-reflective 3-year-old named noah). pure, unapologetic fun.
:: i was excited to run into tessa brunton on her home turf, particularly because she’s produced a new collection since i first discovered her endearing autobiographical comics at stumptown. in the tall grass number three is as charming and sweet as ever, but branches out from its predecessors with some longer strips and formal playfulness. my favorite bit, a miniscule eight-panel comic at the bottom corner of a bustling centerfold array, tells the silent story of a windowsill over time.
:: Nicole Georges and Clutch McBastard have joined forces for their sixth (i think) split zine, Invincible Summer #15 / Clutch #20. these diary comics read like actual diaries (as opposed to the circular, self-aggrandizing sludge into which ‘bloggy strips so often degrade); they are up-close and personal, uncomfortable and sad, and the juxtaposition of styles– visual, narrative, temperamental– benefits both artists; we get the impression that these are two of the infinite number of ways to pass any given day, none of which seem to leave us any more confident or less confused than we were at its outset.
also, the new papercutter rules.
:: if i ever make any money at one of these things, i will most assuredly spend it over at the two fine chaps table, on one of their gorgeous, inventive, lavishly illustrated and cleverly constructed handmade tomes. probably one of the pop-ups.
:: sev leibundgut was back stateside with a new mini, bad cold step one, which combines the comic timing of a marx brothers routine with the impish humor of an old warner bros. cartoon to describe the trials and tribulations of nasal congestion. this woman is so talented.
:: glossy and crisp and lavishly produced, with a mckean-like presentation of a compelling tale, the boy who made silence issue 1 is beautiful to be sure, and yet does not quite manage to do justice to joshua hagler‘s breathtaking original paintings. you should seriously go check them out if you ever have the chance.
:: i laughed heartily and often while reading the first print collection of the atrox webcomics. and if you really loved me, you’d buy me one of the insanely awesome little monsters these folks make. actually, you’d buy me all of them. seriously, why do you hate me?
:: if there is a point (and i am in no way suggesting that there needs be) to luster kaboom‘s toothy and hippo, i confess that it eludes me, but man, these illustrations are brilliant; odd and distressing and satirical and smart, a la crumb, and very skillfully renedered.
:: for a collection of bawdy jam-comics, the first trubble club collection is surprisingly readable and fun, and even, at moments, kind of lovely.
:: i know there are a bunch of hipsters doing this sort of thing these days, but david bessent and camilla taylor‘s super fun activity challenge is an offbeat and unusually entertaining example of the flourishing children’s activity book for adult children genre.
:: i debuted the print version of “prologue” at the expo. folks seemed to like it okay. the web translation can be found over in the oubliette.
don’t forget to let me know if you were getting the vote out last week.